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4 April 2002 Edition

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Turkish hunger strike toll reaches 50

Turkish death faster Meryem Altun has become the 50th person to die in the ongoing hunger strike against the introduction of high security prisons in Turkey. Altun, 26, had been fasting for 301 days when she died on Monday 1 April.

In the middle of March, Meryem was one of a number of prisoners moved to hospital for forced medical intervention.

Meryem lived for a time in England before being arrested on returning to Turkey. She was in the women's wing of Umraniye Prison at the time of the December 19-22 2000 prison crackdown in which 28 prisoners were killed, many of them in Umraniye. She was among those forcibly transported to the F-Type prisons. There, she began to take part in the death fast.


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